[joo-duh s]


Also called Judas Iscariot. the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Mark 3:19.
a person treacherous enough to betray a friend; traitor.
Also called Saint Judas, Saint Jude. one of the 12 apostles (not Judas Iscariot). Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13; John 14:22.
a brother of James (and possibly of Jesus). Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3.
(usually lowercase) Also called judas hole. a peephole, as in an entrance door or the door of a prison cell.


(of an animal) used as a decoy to lead other animals to slaughter: A Judas goat led sheep into the abattoir.

Related formsJu·das·like, adjective




the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. Gen. 29:35.
one of the 12 tribes of Israel traditionally descended from him.
the Biblical kingdom of the Hebrews in S Palestine, including the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.Compare Ephraim(def 3).
a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “praised.”
Also Douay Bible, Ju·da (for defs 1–3).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for judas

Contemporary Examples of judas

Historical Examples of judas

  • I had forgot the pasty, and it will be as scorched as Judas Iscariot!

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The lad was like a strippling Judas; his attitude filled Mortimer with loathing.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Such was the character of Judas, and probably of Lot's wife.

  • A French legend, on the other hand, identifies 'the man' with Judas Iscariot.


    Benjamin Taylor

  • So identified he was with Judas that he felt at times as if his breastbone was bursting.


    James Anthony Froude

British Dictionary definitions for judas



(sometimes capital) a peephole or a very small window in a doorAlso called: judas window, judas hole

Word Origin for judas

C19: after Judas Iscariot



New Testament the apostle who betrayed Jesus to his enemies for 30 pieces of silver (Luke 22:3–6, 47–48)Full name: Judas Iscariot
a person who betrays a friend; traitor
a brother or relative of James and also of Jesus (Matthew 13:55). This figure, Thaddaeus, and Jude were probably identical


denoting an animal or bird used to lure others of its kind or lead them to slaughter


noun Old Testament

the fourth son of Jacob, one of whose descendants was to be the Messiah (Genesis 29:35; 49:8–12)
the tribe descended from him
the tribal territory of his descendants which became the nucleus of David's kingdom and, after the kingdom had been divided into Israel and Judah, the southern kingdom of Judah, with Jerusalem as its centre
Douay spelling: Juda
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for judas


biblical betrayer of Christ, Latin form of Greek Ioudas, from Hebrew Yehudha (see Judah). As a name for a malicious traitor, it is attested from late 15c. Judas priest as an exclamation in place of "Jesus Christ" is from 1914. Judas tree (1660s) supposedly was the type from which Judas hanged himself. The Judas goat (1941) leads sheep to the shackling pen.


masc. proper name, biblical son of Jacob by Leah, also the name of a tribe of Israel, from Hebrew Yehudah, from stem of y-d-h, literally "praised."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper